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Herald editorial nails Government over climate change inaction

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, April 28th, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, Media, national, newspapers, paula bennett, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:


Here at the Standard the Herald is often criticized for following the government line and presenting news in a pro National way. We should also praise the Herald when it accurately describes the Government’s handling of important issues. The editorial in this morning’s paper is one article that deserves praise.

The title “Government stands idly by 0n emissions” sets the tone.  It focuses on Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett’s statement that the Royal Society’s report on New Zealand’s response to the Paris Accord agreement as “a useful resource as we transition to a low-emissions economy”.  She also said “I hope it sparks more innovation and discussions on how we achieve this,” and “I want to hear from all sectors on how we move forward.”  The editorial then questions government leadership in the area.

It is hard to see why Ms Bennett wanted this job in the Cabinet since she is not using it to demonstrate a capacity for leadership. Fresh from New York, where she was signing New Zealand’s commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, she appears to have no ideas of her own, or from the Cabinet, on what to do next.

She is inviting suggestions, though not in the way that sounds serious. Nothing this Government has ever said on the subject of climate change suggests it takes the subject very seriously. If the previous Government was too ready to put New Zealand in the vanguard of a global response, this one is too slow to face the challenge. It came to power saying New Zealand would no longer be a leader but a “fast follower” of other countries on this issue.

We are certainly not fast, it is not even clear that we are following.


The editorial then traverses aspects of climate change, the dangers and risks and some potential solutions.  It then concludes with this statement:

But the public has been given no sense of a coherent plan behind any of this, let alone a programme of national emissions reductions. The cap and trading system is a mystery, the investment in attempts to reduce methane from farm stock has yet to show progress. Climate change might not be the most politically pressing subject on the Cabinet’s table but a respectable government ought to be dealing with it. This one is waiting for others to lead.

There is no plan.  All there is is a collection of genuine sounding slogans and a refusal to do anything that will upset interests that support National.

Well said NZ Herald, well said.

31 comments on “Herald editorial nails Government over climate change inaction ”

  1. Nick 1

    Paula Bennett and Climate change is an oxy moron.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    New Zealand has always been known as a “she’ll be right” country. This government has been exploiting the dark flipside of this seemingly positive attitude. Using it as an excuse not to do anything about climate change, introducing mass survelliance of New Zealanders, doing nothing about house prices etc.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Not quite election year yet – still safe for the Herald to mildly attack National for the sake of being fair and balanced.

    • TC 3.1

      Yup the scales are still well over to the right with granny. File this under the ‘attempt at balance’ column.

      Its the dreadfully bias shite they serve up in an election cycle that does the most harm.

    • reason 3.2

      +1 CV

      funny how the Herald editorial somehow forgot to mention the fraud and cheating the nats have used so far to fight efforts to fight global warming ……..

      “This isn’t good enough. Our government has just admitted committing fraud. Its not enough that it promises not to do it again – it has to make restitution for that fraud. And that means surrendering the profits of that fraud, the fraudulently-retained AAU. They apply that logic to criminals; the government should be held to the same standard it seeks to hold others to. And if it thinks that’s too much, we should rightly ask why they seek to have one set of laws for us, and another for them. “http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/04/climate-change-nz-must-surrender.html

      National have not stood idly by …………… they have been busy engaging in fraud and creating false statistics/information to cheat against fighting global warming.

      The Herald ‘criticism’ might as well as have been written by Mathew Hooten, its a PR snow job.

      Remember never ever pay for the Herald …… and don’t worry, as even if it is losing money it will not be shut down……….

      After all whats an election worth ??????????????

  4. Sacha 4

    “f the previous Government was too ready to put New Zealand in the vanguard of a global response ..”

    Pffft. Imagine where NZ could be if that position hadn’t been squandered. Instead, China of all nations will reap the economic benefits of leading in clean tech. All those high-value jobs and foreign earnings.

  5. gsays 5

    So the minister wants suggestions…
    Is that so the most POPULAR (least effective) option can be done?

    What do we pay these pollies for?
    Surely they have a gaggle of minions on the payroll to think this through.

    Just a sign of a popularity driven management regime, as opposed to leadership.

  6. slumbergod 6

    I have lots of “suggestions” for the Natzi Party. How about all MPs admit the damage they’ve done to our culture and our environment and then resign. I’d prefer to see them facing charges but I’d settle for them leaving office now.

  7. Jenny 7

    We are living in the era of anthropogenic climate change.

    More than any other issue, climate change is the defining issue of our time.

    Where government and political parties stand on the issue of climate change can make or break them.

    The Herald editorial is simply pointing out the obvious.

    Climate change is this government’s worst performing portfolio.

    More than Isis,

    More than housing,

    More than inequality,

    More than the economy,

    More than the environment,

    The issue of climate change is where this government is at its most weakest. Climate change is where this government could take some real hits from a united opposition.

    • Bill 7.1

      Thing is Jenny, there isn’t even a single opposition party calling a spade a spade on CC. So…any united front would be an inadequate front opposing inadequacy. And what’s the point in that? I mean, you can stove in the cat or you can more or less nearly not kill the cat – but the end result’s the same.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        “Thing is Jenny, there isn’t even a single opposition party calling a spade a spade on CC.” Bill

        On the surface it may appear this way Bill.

        But I think we have to look beneath the surface.

        As I said above, and I stand by it, climate change is the defining political issue of our time.

        Currently all political parties to different degrees and at different rates are finding their way to the truth. Inside the Labour Party, Mangere MP Su'a William Sio, who recently did a tour of the front line climate change states of Tuvalu and Kiribati, is planning a nationwide roadshow to convince his party members to take climate change more seriously. And even the openly Right Wing Neoliberal ACT Party who previously were active deniers, are now ready to accept the reality of climate change.

        “That humans have had some influence on warming in more recent times, say the later stages of warming through the 20th century, is very likely. How much, is rather uncertain.
        But there is a serious precautionary case to take some action.” DAVID SEYMOUR, Leader’s speech to Act Conference 2016


        @00:00 minutes “Climate change, it’s real”

        @01:28 minutes “So what are you going to tell your opposition caucus colleagues about what action New Zealand ought to take about climate change?

        @01:34 minutes “Well I think New Zealand itself must have a clear plan, that is bold and brave, about reducing our own carbon emissions, and a plan for transitioning from fossil fuel usage to cleaner more renewable energy. That’s first and foremost. We cannot stand in solidarity with the Pacific and say we stand with you if we are not doing our part…”


        But more than what is going on inside the political parties, there are signs that a reluctant dawning realisation is spreading through the New Zealand establishment. The Herald editorial is one example. Another is establishment media broadcaster Paul Henry. Or NZDF Major John Cook who equated climate change to Isis in his Anzac day address.


        • Jenny

          Is it important that there seems to a sea change going in the establishment over climate change?

          In my opinion yes. Because it moves the political centre, which gives more room for politicians and parties to move to take a stand on this issue.

          But even more than this, it cedes the moral high ground to the climate activists and protesters, empowering them to step up their protest actions against the big emitters, which will also further strengthen the hand of the politicians to become more proactive over legislation to put limits on them.

          With the shift in the political centre and protests on the streets calling for limits on emissions. There will no longer be any room for fence sitting and ignoring the issue.

          Down the fantasy land Rabbit Hole

          No room for Fence Sitting

    • mikes 7.2

      “Climate change is where this government could take some real hits from a united opposition.”

      Ummm, not in my opinion.

      As much as many here might like to think otherwise, climate change is not a priority in most voters minds when they decide who they are going to vote for. I would even go as far as to say that for a majority of voters, it doesn’t even register as a reason for voting or not voting for any particular party. This is especially true for traditional blue collar Labour voters.

      Just my opinion of course and I could be, or probably am, completely wrong.

      However, I meet a hell of a lot of everyday, ordinary (for lack of a better term but you know what I mean) Kiwis and I can’t remember anybody, ever, bringing up AGW theory or even climate change as subjects they consider carefully when thinking about political support for a given party. (Or even bringing them up at all)

      Just sayin’…

      • Jenny 7.2.1

        “As much as many here might like to think otherwise, climate change is not a priority in most voters minds when they decide who they are going to vote for. I would even go as far as to say that for a majority of voters, it doesn’t even register as a reason for voting or not voting for any particular party. This is especially true for traditional blue collar Labour voters.”

        This is where leadership is important.

        Hi Mikes, as I wrote above (and which you haven’t contradicted).

        “Climate change is this government’s worst performing portfolio.”

        It is up to opposition parties to point out this fact.

        Let me ask you a question Mikes; In 1939, when England was still struggling to come out to the depression, were the majority of voters concerned about what was happening in continental Europe in particular in Germany?

        Of course they weren’t.

        In 1939 most people in Britain would have had trouble pointing out Poland on a map, and were even less interested in what was happening there.

        Most people and indeed most politicians of the time were more concerned about the economy and jobs. It took the leadership of one man to raise the alarm.

  8. Lulu 8

    How is this for timing? Announced today:

    Genesis Energy has extended the life of its coal-fired Huntly units until December 2022.

  9. All governments are in the same situation, they can do nothing good or bad about climate change.
    We are way past the point where humans could change the now inevitable.
    It would be nice if they/we could face the facts, and maybe try and create a more caring sharing society, instead of what is going to be a blood bath of starving millions as depicted in 22After.com … the movie.
    With the way the masses react, having a strong right wing militant government might (?) be the best way to maintain what little law and order there could be in what will be a crashing system, with 3 days worth of food on hand.
    Maybe that is why the US cops are driving tanks?
    So yeah 404 ppm CO2 and nearly 2 ppm CH4 (which could equal up to 600 ppm CO2e), it is not a matter of what if? It is a matter of WHEN?
    Reducing emissions will only leave people to starve, whether that is voluntary reduction, or one bought on by peak energy/economy, which ever way the reduction comes people are going to die, the amount of people will be dictated by the amount of reduction. 9 out of every 10 calories in your food come from/are dependent on ‘fossil fuels’ http://oilcrash.com/articles/eating.htm
    And we have something like 2.6 million Kiwis thinking a retirement scheme based on growth/CO2 creation is going to give them a happy happy joy joy retirement, breathing, and getting a glass of potable water might be more of a worry for most of the millions?
    So yeah Key, Little, the fucking joke Greens, Sweet uncle Tom, mother Teresa, J H Christ and all, are ‘capable’ of doing SFA to change things, you might as well put my dog up as PM, she could do as well as anyone else.

    Th Th That’s all folks.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      I am sure the politicians will come up with an effective carbon tax and hybrid car subsidy shortly

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        A deliberately humorous and facetious comment, there CV,

        As you are probably very well aware, these two strategies would hardly address the magnitude of problem, and as you are also aware, most political parties are not prepared to go even that far.


        • Colonial Viper

          You got to laugh or you got to cry

          • Incognito

            Fair enough. Laughing and crying reflect emotions & feelings, which, in turn, influence our thoughts and thus our actions. Our actions have consequences, which is why we laugh or cry.

    • johnm 9.2

      100% It’s amazing we keep up the pretence we can do anything except do an orderly as possible retreat.

  10. Macro 10

    Its not only the Govt who are playing fast and loose with emissions and the NZ ETS
    NZ Steel rort $4m from the NZ tax payer
    and still have enough dodgy carbon credits to carry them through for another 2 years!

    • Bill 10.1

      If you and me and a hell of a lot of other people insisted … and that would probably entail very real and direct threats to economic stability that you and me and lots of others were actually willing to carry through on…if we insisted that fossil reliant energy dropped by ~15% every year, as any chance of skirting +2 degrees demands, then they (industry and government) could do what they wanted with steel, and coal fired power stations – as long as the ~15% reduction was being achieved.

      If we don’t do something like that – formulate an over-arching demand – then either people will find the ‘million and one’ separate pieces of bullshit too difficult to get their heads around in a meaningful way and do nothing, or people will waste all their energy putting out bush-fires (today steel, tomorrow coal fired power stations, next day….gas…then oil exploration permits….or ETS scams etc) while the main direction and thrust of doing fuck all will just roll on.

  11. Byd0nz 11

    Ho hum,. If you vote, your voting for a capitalist economic sysrem = greedy get ahead mentality and f… anyone else.
    One day Mr Marx, just dont hold your breath!

  12. Byd0nz 12

    Ho hum. If you vote you vote for a capitalist
    economic system = greedy get ahead mentality,
    me,me,me, stuff everyone else. One day Sinjoro Marx,
    Just dont hold your breath!

  13. Dale 13

    The editor will be dragged out and shot! Judith has the 9mil loaded and locked and ready to rock!!!

  14. Good read ?
    The half-truth of the need to stop oil trains sets up 350 followers for the whole lie, i.e. “an end to fossil fuel development and an immediate transition to a renewable energy” that is absolutely infeasible—unless everyone is willing to stop driving cars, flying on planes, and heating their homes, while simultaneously growing all their own food and building their own housing from baked-mud bricks. For Wall Street NGOs, the nature of campaigns is to undermine movements.

    The half-truth—whole lie strategy of 350, that promotes magical thinking like ending all fossil fuels is actually a textbook case of psychological warfare. As the core strategy of 350, the false hope of fossil-free renewable energy is complemented by the magical thinking of the end times of capitalism. This popular disinformation, drilled into the minds of 350 followers ad infinitum, is the core of 350 psywar that is essential to the privatization strategy of the financial elite. ……………………One of the magical ideas false hope promotes is that capitalism is dying because there is ‘no more profit to extract’. Jesus, where do they come up with this stuff? Capitalists are profiting hand-over-fist on everything from food to water to housing to medicine to energy with no end in sight. Do they think false hope followers aren’t paying rent and utility bills, or having to choose between food and medicine on their meager paychecks or social security benefits?

    Lastly, the false hope pipe dream of ‘thriving prospects for all’ while we ‘live in harmony’ after the death of capitalism makes me wonder if they are smoking crack. Of course, they are not; they are preying on the misery of those who are desperate or gullible enough to fall for the core message of false hope, in order for their Wall Street paymasters to plunder what little we have left.

    • Hanswurst 14.1

      My chief issue with claims like yours is that, as far as I know, the current uptrend in temperature appears to be discernible from the industrial revolution onwards. Equally, as far as I know, construction prior to the industrial revolution was not limited to mud bricks.

      Of course, without intimate knowledge of the subject, I can easily surmise that factors like increased population or depleted resources in the intervening period might possibly add up to give credence to your argument. However, you don’t structure your arguments as conclusions based on that sort of verifiable fact, but more in the manner of communicating a sort of revealed truth.

  15. reason 15

    “This strategy for meeting our commitments is deeply unethical, and ought to be of serious embarrassment to our country. It is akin to a con job, dependent on the proceeds of fraud and organised crime.

    To make matters worse, the Government is also flouting the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, and we’re being shown up by several other countries taking a principled stance. ” http://morganfoundation.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ClimateCheat_Report9.pdf

    Gosh ….. lies, cheating, corruption & planet fucking Greed.

    Why does our climate policy mirror John Key? …. that’s what I want to know.

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  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
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